As Schaarai Zedek celebrates our 125th anniversary this weekend, our celebration is mingled with sadness as we join with the greater community in remembering the eleven victims who were killed by a white supremacist gunman one year ago at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. On the Shabbat following the shooting, I delivered a sermon, “A Eulogy for the Minyan,” offering a way in which we, a synagogue just over 1,000 miles away, could reflect upon and respond to the tragedy. As I share that sermon with you again this weekend, we remember the victims and pray that their memory is a blessing to their families, their community, and to a wider world, as we are inspired to live our lives better as we aspire to learn from the values through which they lived their lives. Zichronam tzadikim livracha, may the memory of the righteous always be a blessing.
In addition to Rabbi Simon’s sermon, please read the words of college student Hannah Daniel in her poem, “They Sat in the back.”